Wednesday, June 30, 2010


They are so hard to catch. These things defy
The laws of physics. Rising from champagne
Flutes, from orchestras, they even fly,
Laughing, from small children. They contain

No real meaning. Bubbles are absurd
Symbolic structures anyone can make
Cheaply from diluted soap. A word
Could not possess less value. If you break

A bubble nothing happens. They don’t curse
Or go upsetting seismographs. The skin
Detects a little something—mist—at worst—
A highly localized cloud burst. But in

Some atomic way, all these events
Lead back to a Big Bang. If that makes sense.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Illiterati

Confusion is their color, shades of gray
Surround all acts, like ripples in a pond;
They stay away from definitions—they
Make such demanding wives. Black and blond,

Or bald, or clown-like, frizzy Marxist red,
Their heads are full of slogans: War is bad,
Love good, but Sex is better.
Come to bed.
Come now. Come fuck a real creative lad.

No answer. Why? For someone with so much
Love to give, rejection seems unfair.
I touch you and so little seems to gush
From you but your intestines. Sad. We share

So much in common—dreams and DNA.
The difference is just poetry, I’d say.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Alien

I explore the galaxy,
I plant my flag, I am a man
People like to giggle at:
I am an alien. The land

I represent is English—
I mean, American, scion
Of British, a barbaric tongue,
Part Indo-European.

I mostly pick up postcards,
Tattoos and tans for souvenirs;
But if you come equipped with hands
Capable of holding beers

I will buy us a few drinks—
Enough to get us both somewhere
Else: my ship, Andromeda,
Uranus, home. My secret lair.


Searching in my pockets, I produce:
A single linty stick of cinnamon
Dentine, some change, a cell phone number—whose—
Who knows? It’s yours. I have lost a button.

My fingers smell like cinnamon, the change
Amounts to eighty-seven cents—thirteen
Cents shy of one whole dollar. What a strange
Taste those missing pennies give Dentine.

I take my pants off, turn the pockets out,
I shake them by the legs, up and down:
Nothing else drops out. I want to shout:
Where is that button! Then I turn around

To find you naked, groaning, close to tears—
Because I hold my pants like rabbit ears.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It sits beside a sad geranium,
The brown remains of my best friend, a fern,
A plastic pot his mausoleum.
I’ll miss our talks. Our walks. The way he’d turn

Into a human, suddenly, and cry,
You’re crazy! I’m a fucking fern! A plant!
We can’t keep having these discussions! I
Refuse! Please, put me down this instant!

What do I do with him? A yellow flock
Of leaves falls from the trees. We stand outside.
Neighbors have lined up around the block
To pay their last respects. I can’t decide

If I should dump him out and keep the pot.
Are ferns recyclable? Are friends? Guess not.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


The stars have lost their point,
Their purpose and their powers,
The time is out of joint,
We are expecting showers.

I look up at the sky,
Some droplets fall on me.
I see a plane pass by.
Planes aren’t much company.

Just people going places.
Just where we cannot say:
The taillights—all their traces—
The rain has washed away.

Perpetual Motion

Perpetual motion is still a dream
Pursued by kooks, mad scientists and crooks—
The statesmen of Utopia: a machine
So natural they paint it green. It looks

So good on paper: dark panels unfold
To soak up sun, windmills whirl, and Friction—
The great galactic menace—shivers, cold,
Imprisoned in a cell—in science fiction.

Nothing nuclear, like entropy,
Seems to appear in government designs;
Nor do too many numbers, I can see,
Besides those taxes, surtaxes and fines

We pay to keep Utopia painted
Green, gears greased, politicians sainted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Certain Names

We cling to them for luck, certain names,
We mutter to the air, iron and clay,
We hope they will protect our homes from flames
Consuming other houses. Every day

We sacrifice good books to them, like goats,
We sentence little doubts to copper mines,
We shake our tambourines, we dance—slit throats—
We lay our minds, like corpses, at their shrines.

Even the iconoclast. The last
Man you might expect to form a cult,
Can flood the streets with fools ready to blast
Themselves to bits in temples. The result:

More misery, more blood, more martyrs, more
Temples raised to him. This is war.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Colossal flops they can be; and most are
Either bumblers, abusers, or tyrants—
Men and women—huddled around a star
Of zero consequence. These are the giants

Which populate our fables: the nightmare
Titans we wrestle with, gods of such power
We name planets after them. They care
Nothing for what they crush—dream or flower.

The few attempting human form fail
Spectacularly. I have photographs.
Mom sits there in the sea filling a pail
With sand. Here, a lost thumb eclipses mass-

Ive mountains—ridges—off in the distance.
The thumb is dad’s. It has his fingerprints.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thank you

Takaaki, I just love these boxer shorts:
My balls are big so they bounce easier
When dancing now and a hard-on distorts
The fabric. Breezier—not sleazier—

Than those tight briefs I’m used to wearing,
They ride two inches lower on my hips.
My mother tells me that I am sharing
My ass with everyone. The waistband slips.

I tell her Newton will not be denied
His little apple. If that fruit is me—
Who am I to argue? I take pride
In all the interest which gravity

Shows in my bum—electricity, too—
Each force in nature binding me to you.


I used to travel more than I do now—
Take trips, take pictures, take the long way home.
It seems the times have changed my schedule. How

Did I lose flexibility—allow
My legs to lose their muscle—turn to bone?
I wonder what my skeleton does now?

A backpack always bumping my elbow,
Through forests, foreign cities, we would roam.
I know there is a world out there. But how

Many sandwiches to pack? You know
If you’ll be coming? Will I dine alone?
Answering this question’s harder now.

So much depends upon the weather. Show
Me a barometer. Should we postpone
Our trip until a better day? How

Would we recognize it? Lack of snow?
No rain? No clouds? That is the great unknown.
The sky is full of emptiness right now:
Just mercury is falling. Fast. And how.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ars Poetica

A poet’s feet can be disgusting things.
I see them at the gym: hairy, bent,
Arthritic sets of bones, adorned with rings
To make each toe look sexier. Their scent

Defies description. While Limburger cheese
Left ripening a bit too long comes close—
A yeast infection closer—even these
Analogies fall short. I hold my nose.

I ask in a squeaky voice, “Why scatter warts,
Instead of rose petals, in the shower?
What kind of gift’s a wart? None. The worst.
A waste of talent and abuse of power.

Give one good reason why your words exist—
Or stop writing. See a podiatrist.”